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Building a Microservices Architecture with Amazon SQS

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As a development consultancy company, we build applications for clients across a wide range of industries. We've seen first-hand how companies are increasingly turning to microservices to develop software that is agile, scalable, and responsive to changing business needs. However, the large amount of services in microservice applications can also make the information flow difficult to manage.

That’s where queues come in. Queues are by far the most popular way to manage the flow of data between different services. They are the backbone of complex systems that handle high volumes of asynchronous communication. In this blog post, we'll explain why queues are essential for managing the flow of data between services, introduce you to Amazon SQS, and share some best practices for working with queues and microservices.

Why Queues are Essential for Microservices

Microservices have become a widely adopted architecture for building modern software applications due to their flexibility and enhanced security. At Optis, we embrace microservices because they provide the ability to use the most suitable technology for each service. This flexibility also makes it easier to learn new technologies, as individual services are well contained, and can be updated or replaced without affecting the entire application. Additionally, microservices are easier to maintain and scale, providing a convenient and efficient approach to building complex software systems.

In a system based on microservices, each service performs a specific task and communicates with other services. However, as the number of services in an application or system grows, managing the flow of data between them becomes increasingly complex. Queues provide a simple and efficient way to manage this flow.

When a service needs to send a message to another service, it places that message in a queue. The queue then stores the information until the other service is ready to retrieve it, allowing the services to communicate asynchronously. This makes applications a lot more flexible, since the microservices don’t have to spend time waiting for each other.

Another key benefit of using a queue-based system is scalability. When a queue receives a message, it can automatically distribute the message to multiple workers, allowing multiple instances of a service to process messages in parallel. In other words: as the demand for a service increases, more workers can be added to the queue as it fills up to handle the increased workload.

Queues Made Simple: Amazon SQS

Since microservices communicate through queues, it's essential to have a reliable and efficient queue management system in place. Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) addresses this need with its fully managed queue service, offering a range of features to facilitate the smooth transfer of information between services.

One of the primary benefits of Amazon SQS is its ability to eliminate overhead. Developers can now focus on building their applications rather than managing infrastructure. Additionally, Amazon SQS provides guarantees on reliable message delivery, even at high levels of throughput, ensuring that messages are delivered in a timely and consistent manner. There is no need for other services to be available, which reduces the complexity of the overall system.

In an architecture based on microservices, transferring messages between those services needs to be not just easy, but also secure. Amazon SQS offers server-side encryption to ensure that your messages stay protected. The optional AWS Key Management centralises your keys, making it even easier to control who can access those encrypted messages.

Finally, Amazon SQS scales elastically and cost-effectively based onusage. This means that applications can handle sudden traffic surges without incurring unnecessary costs, making capacity planning and provisioning easier in turn. The scalability ensures that the system can handle varying levels of demand without any issues, making it a flexible and reliable solution for any organisation.

Best Practices Visualised

While Amazon SQS is a simple and effective messaging system, there are still some best practices that developers should keep in mind to ensure that their applications remain secure and reliable. In this section, we will visualise three key best practices that will help you to get the most out of Amazon SQS.

  1. Error handling is critical in any messaging system. With Amazon SQS, you can set up a dead-letter queue (DLQ) to capture messages that fail to be processed. By monitoring the DLQ, you can quickly identify and resolve any issues that may arise.

  2. To maintain the security of your messaging system, it's important to ensure that your queues are not publicly accessible on the cloud. By configuring access policies and permissions, you can ensure that only authorised users and services can access your queues.
  3. is a valuable security measure for any messaging system. By encrypting your messages at rest, you can ensure that sensitive information is protected from unauthorised access. With Amazon SQS, you can enable server-side encryption to provide an additional layer of security for your messages, which ensures that your data is safe even in the event of a security breach.


In conclusion, queues are an essential part of any microservices-based architecture, and Amazon SQS is a powerful tool that can help developers to build reliable and scalable messaging systems. Stay tuned for our upcoming technical blog on Amazon SQS, where we will dive deeper into the technical details of this powerful messaging system.

To learn more about how to build reliable and scalable microservices-based applications, check out some of our other blogs on infrastructure-as-code, distributed logging or AWS Lambda.

Looking for expert support in building your microservices-based architecture? Contact us for personalised solutions and expert advice from our team of experienced developers.

Mathias Mariman

March 29, 2023

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